Opinion: Virgil van Dijk has one chance at the Ballon d’Or

BELGRADE, SERBIA - NOVEMBER 06: Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool in action during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Red Star Belgrade and Liverpool at Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 06, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

After winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award, we tell you what’s the only shot that Virgil van Dijk has of winning the Ballon d’Or.

It’s been 13 years since a defender won the Ballon d’Or for the last time, Virgil van Dijk is a player who actually has a chance to get the prize this season.

The latest man who won this accolade was Italian defender Fabio Cannavaro, he won it back in 2006 after Italy won the FIFA World Cup that summer.

Before Fabio, there were two German defenders who won the prize and nobody else has done it apart from those three players.

Matthias Sammer won the Ballon d’Or back in 1996 after getting relocated from a midfielder to a centre-back during the later stage of his career.

The manager who made this decision to change Sammer’s place on the pitch was Ottmar Hitzfeld and it completely changed the player’s professional life.

Before that, Franz Beckenbauer famously won the prize in 1972 and 1976, he is the only defender who won this prize twice in his career.

Virgil van Dijk’s latest PFA Players’ Player of the Year Award proves that he has a dominance that hasn’t been seen in a defender since Beckenbauer himself.

We really do believe that he could win this individual accolade but he has a major obstacle ahead of him.

The only shot Van Dijk has this season

Now that a new defensive player has come into the possible mix, he arrives in a very challenging era.

We are living in the final years of the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo time, when these two players have completely dominated the world of football.

Only a player like Luka Modric was able to finally put an end to this dominance last year after his amazing year with both Real Madrid and Croatia.

Van Dijk has a unique opportunity that is about to start on Wednesday in the Champions League, his Liverpool side plays against Messi’s FC Barcelona.

With Cristiano Ronaldo completely out of the equation, the last player that Virgil has to worry about is Barcelona’s number ’10’.

The Reds are about to play at Camp Nou on Wednesday and Van Dijk will be one of the English club’s most important players, he has a very specific personal duel to play vs Messi.

The one who comes out victorious from this specific faceoff has the bigger chance to win the Ballon d’Or.

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Virgil van Dijk proved that he is dominant enough to be considered for this individual accolade by the end of the season, winning the Champions League this season would be more than enough.

This remains as his only chance, we’ll see if he has what it takes to make it happen.

Van Dijk’s role with the Netherlands

Apart from the obvious performances he has to deliver at club level for Liverpool FC, Virgil van Dijk also has a chance to keep on winning with his country.

The Netherlands are officially back in full swing this year after getting eliminated from the FIFA World Cup last summer, they have Van Dijk as their leader.

The Liverpool player received the captain’s armband from Ronald Koeman and he already expressed how excited he is for that huge honor.

If the Netherlands wins the upcoming UEFA Europa League with him leading the squad, this could also become a great opportunity for him to be considered amongst the final nominees for the Ballon d’Or.

Suddenly, June’s crucial match against England gets a whole new meaning for the Liverpool player.

We might be on the verge of witnessing history in the making with Virgil van Dijk.

We are before a player who has completely changed the course of history and someone who is already being compared to the best defenders who ever lived.

The whole world will be watching next Wednesday when Virgil meets his destiny at Camp Nou in the form of Lionel Messi wearing the FC Barcelona jersey.

Can Virgil van Dijk win the Ballon d’Or by the end of 2019? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

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